'When Shoaib bhai and I looked at the team sheet, he was like 'who all are we going to get out'' - Mohammad Asif recalls Karachi 2006 Test against India

‘When Shoaib bhai and I looked at the team sheet, he was like ‘who all are we going to get out” – Mohammad Asif recalls Karachi 2006 Test against India

Years later, the former Pakistan quick Mohammad Asif reminisced the memories of the historic match.

Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar
Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The last Test of the iconic three-match series against India holds a special place in the history of Pakistan cricket. The Men in Green had scripted one of their massive wins by 341 runs against the arch-rivals India in the match that was played from January 29, 2006 to February 1 in Karachi to clinch the series by 1-0. The first and second Test match at Lahore and Faisalabad respectively had ended in a draw.

Years later, the former Pakistan quick Mohammad Asif reminisced the memories of the historic match by saying that before the game, he and Shoaib Akhtar were terrified looking at India’s batting heavy-side that boasted of players like Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, and MS Dhoni.

Speaking about Pakistan’s victory in that game, Asif told Kamran Akmal on the latter’s YouTube channel, “No doubt it was a great feeling. It was such a batting-heavy team. I remember when Shoaib bhai and I looked at the team sheet, he was like ‘who all are we going to get out’. At No 7 or 8 was Dhoni.”

“We looked at the line up and we said ‘how are we going to get them out’. Because I think all these players across formats would have combined to score a lakh or 1.5 lakh runs between them. Everyone had at least 15-20K runs,” he added.

Shoaib Akhtar couldn’t get wickets but he set the stage for my wickets: Mohammad Asif

Asif, who was playing only his third Test, was the pick of the host nation as he had scalped seven wickets across two innings. However, the seamer credited Akhtar for his success saying that with his deadly bouncers, Shoaib put the Indian batters on backfoot and he benefited from the same. The Rawalpindi Express had scalped just three wickets in that game.

“Shoaib bhai I remember had bowled to the Indian batsmen with a lot of pace. He had started bowling those deadly bouncers, full of pace from Faisalabad itself. And I took advantage of it. Because of his bouncers, Indian players were playing on the backfoot and since I pitched the ball forward, they were in two minds. He was extremely quick in that match. He couldn’t get wickets but he set the stage for my wickets.” Asif concluded.